Spare Room will feature the unusual and amusing through stories, pictures and video. We’ll weed out the dross and link to the very best of pop culture content.

The Lounge is for entertainment related posts, whether it’s film, TV, books, games or something else that we haven’t woken up to yet. From time to time we’ll post updates on New Zealand musicians or artists living overseas. We don’t want to be just another trawl through someone’s monthly release sheet, so you can expect a few blasts from the past along the way.

CoolFinder is designed to take the hardship out of shopping by providing recommendations of affordable cool stuff to appreciate or buy online. Art, design, knick-knacks, kitsch, e-cards, gadgets, t-shirts, accessories and anything else that takes our fancy.

About Ana

A disastrous OE sent me packing from the UK to answer phones at the NZ Herald editorial department, which led to the last four years writing the paper’s daily Sideswipe column. Not bad for a girl from Balclutha. I started off writing drama (plays, TV), then moved into journalism and then publicity/PR, and back to journalism – not the usual media career trajectory, but one that’s given me a view from both sides of the media fence. I love a good dinner party and would like to bring back “the pop-in” i.e. unscheduled and unannounced visits to friends. I was once enthusiastically described to my brother overseas as a “C-grade Auckland celebrity”, but the most interesting comment I’ve heard is that I look like “a well-fed Eva Longoria”. (That’ll be that Cornish Gypsy ancestry). Last but not least, I am a crèche-loving working-mother of one and a part-time rock widow (see him below).

About Steven

I’ve seen many sides of the magazine publishing industry, through being an all-round writer/editor type. Though I’ve enjoyed regular work as a freelancer, my onions remain largely unfried. So I dive headlong into escape via music, film, TV, books and the internet. I love a good gadget, and am (for the moment, anyway) well happy with my PSP, which in addition to the Star Wars and GTA UMD games, has a memory stick laden with MP3s, UK comedies and family photos. My fascination with music comes from being immersed in southern soul records at a young age. I play bass guitar in a rock and roll band and ride a Vespa for kicks. And last but certainly not least, I’m one half of a happy couple (her above) and proud parent to a strapping young toddler. Sometimes I fear he may have the upper hand.


Spare Room is an independent site wholly owned and operated by Spare Room Publishing Ltd. Ana Samways works as a freelance contractor for NZ Herald’s Sideswipe column (APN NZ) and contributes a weekly phone-in to TRN’s Viva radio, with Simon Dallow. Steven Shaw contracts to NZ Herald as a freelance contributor. Steven also freelances to magazines including Top Gear NZ magazine (Jones Publishing) and AdMedia magazine (Profile Publishing). Steven is a musician in Heavy Jones Trio and has in the past played for Martin Phillipps and The Chills, Garageland and Smoothy. Before that, things get a little fuzzy.


The views expressed on Spare Room are the personal views of the individual authors and directors of Spare Room Publishing ltd, and not of anyone else, including the holder of the domain name and the developers of the software. We can accept no liability for the views of other media, contributors or guests to this site. We endeavour to moderate content, but any queries should be made to or in the first instance. Information on this site is offered on an as-is basis and is not warranted. If any of the images on this site should not be here then please get in touch. We try to find up-to-the-minute content, but online content is an ever changing beast, so if we’ve got something wrong, please let us know.